Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab

Addictions Content Team Info icon
Calendar icon Last Updated: 09/15/2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Inpatient and outpatient rehab are two different treatment options for addiction recovery. While both types of programs have their benefits, one may be more appropriate for you at this particular time in your recovery.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Care

A flexible treatment program utilizing both inpatient and outpatient treatment with a focus on reducing attrition is most likely to maximize effectiveness.” And for many individuals, both treatment options can be beneficial over the course of recovery. However, it is often important to consider which one of these options will be best for you at the current moment in your recovery, which takes some consideration of the treatment options themselves as well as your particular needs.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient rehab is a treatment option that provides 24-hour care to patients in a controlled environment. Patients are highly scheduled and often have a number of different treatment options at their disposal. In most cases, inpatient and residential treatment are considered the same, but some inpatient centers provide individuals with hospitalized care, which can be necessary for those with more severe issues.

Some of the benefits of inpatient care are:

  • Its ability to provide a controlled environment to those who might otherwise relapse back to drug abuse
  • Its multiple treatment options, which are often more extensive than those provided by outpatient centers
    • Many residential programs, for example, utilize holistic treatments for patients because they have the funds necessary to provide these options.
  • Its 24-hour care, which is necessary to those individuals who have more severe health, medical, or psychological issues
  • Its ability to surround patients with the support of individuals who want them to succeed in their recovery, including doctors, nurses, counselors, and other patients

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient care programs provide patients with care either daily or several times a week (especially early on in recovery). Patients can receive their medications and attend therapy sessions, much like they do in inpatient care, without staying at the facility overnight. Some of the most important benefits of outpatient care include:

  • Its cost, which is generally much lower than that of inpatient care
  • Its referral system (provided by many facilities) where patients who cannot receive all the options they need from the program itself can get a referral to another program for a particular service
  • Its ability to let patients receive treatment without having to leave jobs, school, or families behind for the duration
  • Its ability to lend itself to long-term care where patients can often attend a program for as long as it is helping them and still live their lives

Which Is Right for Me?

It may be difficult to decide which option is right for your needs but remember to consider all of the different requirements you will have for treatment.

  • One downside of outpatient care is that some facilities “provide little more than drug education. And even those that provide a well-rounded program may not be enough for individuals with severe addictions who would be likely to relapse if they are not in a controlled environment.
  • People with co-occurring mental disorders, severe health issues, and other additional problems that need to be treated simultaneously with addiction often fare better in inpatient care.
  • People who do not have the extensive social supports necessary to create a strong recovery often need inpatient care.

Therefore, if you are suffering from additional medical issues, do not have a strong social support system, or have a severe addiction, inpatient care may be a necessary option for your recovery. However, different factors can all affect your needs, so it is important to consider all of these in order to decide upon the best option for you.

Seek Treatment Today

Whether it is outpatient or inpatient, attending treatment is always helpful to recovery. But it is most effective when you have the right option for your particular situation. Let us help you find the best treatment facility for your recovery.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on

All calls are private and confidential.